A Stop in Venice

      I trained up in Ferrara and got off in Venice.  If you look way back in time, you can see my first trip here in July 2011.  That time I saw this tree growing out of a wall.

CIMG1695.JPG

    This time I thought I would look for some new sights.  I wandered down the narrow alleys.  I crossed a few bridges and I found this.

CIMG5474.JPG

I may need to improve my spontaneous wander skills.

     Honest, we were just walking down the street and I came across it…again.  It doesn’t seem to grow much but there were a lot of years in between these shots.

I decided to check out a new neighborhood but the big streets were flooded so I had to take a boat.

cimg5477

Wet Street

                        Oh yeah!! Venice!!  That’s the way it is here.  Lots of water, no cars. 

     First stop, Murano.  A small island in the lagoon.  It’s easy to take the waterbus from Venice and arrive and a new group of islands connected by bridges.

cimg5483

Murano Blvd.

Murano is best known for its glass.  And this hottie.  A real cutie but she looks a little fragile.

cimg5485

Metropolis in Glass

This place has beautiful and delicate public art.  Where else can you find a garden like this?

CIMG5489.JPG

Or this thing.  I think I saw this wig on kid at a punk show in Berkeley.

cimg5486

Blue Fizzy Blowout

                                    Or maybe it was a bottle of blue Gatorade exploding.

          Next it was time to hop back on the boat and head to Burano, another group of islands.

The buildings are very colorful and they are best known for their lace shops lining the main street.

CIMG5501.JPG

CIMG5502.JPG

This lady had a big wad of thread.  She tied some knots and came up with a lace thing to stick under your Grandmother’s lamp.

The amount of work going into these lace items was amazing.  A true art form.

CIMG5499.JPG

I thought about buying some glass in Murano or some lace in Burano but ended up with this instead.

cimg5504

The Good Stuff

                                        Gelato in a waffle cone.  Life gets no better. 

I took the waterbus back to Venice and bummed a ride in this smaller boat to look around the city.

CIMG5523.JPG

                                           Marco gave me a great tour of the waterways.

CIMG5510.JPG

                                        He took me by the Venice Casino.

CIMG5509.JPG

                     And I waved at this guy who seemed to be waving his fist at me.

cimg5508

Fist Pumpin Lion

                                                       I don’t know what his problem is.

Marco took me down some side streets.  A quick right here, followed by a left, and down the narrow shortcut.

CIMG5519.JPG

 

cimg5523

Dark Alley

 

And stopping at a little Trattoria.  I felt like a real king…or maybe a Doge sitting on the seat all by myself.

CIMG5524.JPG

 

cimg5525

King of the Canal

 

                                                  Marco even let me handle the oar.

CIMG5529.JPG

 

My gondola trip was over.  Time for some food.  Besides, these people jumped in the boat and I didn’t want to share.

CIMG5527.JPG

 

I’m afraid my trip to Italy is at an end.  I left some sights unseen on purpose so that now I must return.  I have my medal from the Vatican to remember the trip and insure my safe return.

 

cimg5535

Vatican Medal

 

     Venice has long been a place that I dreamed of someday, maybe someday, visiting.  I never thought it possible to actually go there, it seemed to be a place that only existed in books or TV travel shows.  Now, I not only find it possible to go there, I find it is possible to go there twice.  The people are way too nice for the number of tourists they encounter.  Marco the gondolier was very accommodating for the little yellow plastic guy and let us all pile down to one end of the boat so we could get pictures of him on the seat.  Posing with Bubba was just icing on the cake. 

     All through Italy we met wonderful friendly people.  From Marco in Venice to the Priests at the Vatican, to the guide in Pompeii, everyone was willing to spend a quality moment with Bubba.

              The impossible trips are actually possible.  All you need to do is take the first step.

Advertisements

Rome

My thought was to take a train to Rome.  That was the plan at least.  I took a look at the ticket machine and it said something about Firenze and Novella.  My handy on-line translator said that meant Florence’s book so off I went to go see a lady about a book.

Not a Library

I walked around a little, ate at the Mickey D’s de Firenze across from the train station and started to feel like I had been here before.  I rounded a corner and…HEY!  This ain’t Rome!  This is Florence!  I got off at the wrong station!  There are no books here, why did they call it a novella?

THIS AIN’T ROME!  THIS AIN’T ROME!!

Bubba and Italian Popo

I might have said it a little too loud.  These nice Officers guided me back to the train station and helped me get out of town.

Disclaimer:  We don’t photoshop any Bubba pictures but maybe, just maybe, we did this time.

I made it to Rome and hailed a taxi.  He spoke Italian, I spoke English.  I told him I needed a room for the night.  He looked blank.  I said I needed a Hotel.  He took me on a wild ride and pulled up in front of a Hotel with a “No Vacancy” sign.  “No, I need a hotel with a vacancy.”  A wall of stare.  “Vacancy, Vacancy!!”  A smile broke out on his face and we took a wild ride in his taxi.  Drivers in Rome have a particular style.  The windows must be down so as to facilitate communication with other drivers and a minimum of one hand must always be in motion to assist in the communication.  Since one hand is on the wheel (maybe) and one hand is in the air, signaling is not possible although somehow horn honking is possible and mandatory.  I’ve got this Roman driving thing worked out.  Foot firmly on the gas, yell and wave to the other drivers and all right turns must start in the left lane.  Everything stays in motion (including the camera) and everyone ignores the Traffic Policeman performing ballet.

CIMG5261

We arrived at our destination.  I think he may have misunderstood the English word, “vacant” for something else.

CIMG5005

I started to ask these guys for directions but something about their pointy sticks kept me away.

Swiss Sirs

For a tiny country, this place is pretty big.  I either needed directions or a map.  Eventually I found a Bubba sized 3D overview of the place.Vatican Model

Now I can see the sights.

            Bubba is a fun guy but there are times when a “Bubba Selfie” may not be appropriate, even for him. He usually keeps his head down in places of worship, especially the Vatican.   He was able to see some great sights while preserving the solemn nature of the buildings.

Big Guy Tomb

Behind glass

Dome

That was all good but I really didn’t find the one thing I was looking for.  I need that one, enlightening experience that sends my soul to a new level.  I found these two guys who happened to be specialists in exactly what I needed.

Fathers in Training

They provided me with a path to that which I was seeking.

No lie.  These two were great and did give us an enthusiastic recommendation for the next destination.

I made this a place of pilgrimage sometimes twice a day during my time in Rome.

Ummmm Gelato

Don’t mess with my Gelato.

http://gelateriaoldbridge.com/home/en/ice-cream-shop/